Mother in Law, isn’t always the way you would think.

There seems to be a negative connotation related to The mother-in-law.  Considered overbearing, interfering, and controlling are some popular descripts of mother in-laws.  Yet, what must be considered is that the mother in law, was also a daughter in law.  Should there really be such a domineering division when we both love the same man?

Marcia, my mother in law is the most interesting woman.  She is about to be 99 years old.  Her mind is sharp and she still does her own laundry, checkbook and taking her dog on walks daily.  We are impressed.  Really, she is a very generous and caring person.  I have learned so much from her.

Being born near the end of WWI and being raised by immigrants, her family new to the United States.  Marcia’s father being killed in an accident when she was a teenager around the time of the great depression, she learned to live by her wits.  She married during WWII and her husband right away went off to fight in WW11 and she found she was pregnant and she had the first of three sons.  The industrial revolution started, and her mother lived with her, so she went to work as her mother cared for the young boys.  You had to get into a long line and hope to be picked for the job.  There were some very beautiful women in line, and Marcia was clever but not endowed with the beauty, yet, she had a very nice figure and she dressed professionally, with a sparkle in her dark eyes and a bit of moxie she has led a very exciting life.  Taking trips and traveling to other countries she has treasured up many great memories.    She knit, and she sewed and she made all she desired.  Marcia learned knitting and sewing from her mother whom was from France and was a professional milliner.    She bought a large property with a dilapidated house, and she turned it into a very nice home.  She bought a horse and rode it before work each day.  She worked as a secretary in the Judicial Department.  Marcia has always had dogs, Marcia gave to charities, and supported causes, and she strived to be a good neighbor.  Marcia kept busy going to different fairs and shows, she did not feel she had to go with anyone.  She did what she wanted and she has enjoyed her life.  We have a lot of good times together.  I love to go over my projects with her, I feel she is very keen on creativity and I love her input.  I wished I knew her decades ago, I needed her then as well.  I really have great respect for her.

The mother getting older losing the control and influence on the adult child she raised, and the new wife asserting her independence of a new family.  All are threatened by the potential abuse of familial affections.  The adult child is put in a precarious position between two whom both claim to love them, that are both competing for devotion.  One day when we were going head to head and my husband seemed stressed and caught in the middle I said “Aren’t you a blessed man to be in the company of your two favorite women?!”  It settled all our dissention with a little humor and he expressed if we did not figure out how to get along he would have to leave the two of us at the table.  I have enjoyed more time with her in a great variety of activities, more than the mother whom raised me.  A mother-in-law is a woman, a person, not just as you see her now.  She is a woman with experience, history, accomplishments and sorrows.  She is the person whom raised the man we love.

If you care to, make your mother in-law your friend.  It is a relationship worth tending.  I have learned so much from her.  All a mother wants is to be loved, valued, while spending time with her.  We need to make time for them because it is a sad reality we may not always have them available to us as the years go by.  Call your mum and express some love and appreciation.  I am a mother in-law now, and it can be just as scary to us learning how to interact with the new daughter in-law.  I started out giving too much advice imagining it was valuable, forgetting all the mistakes I made, I created a level of discomfort.  Is she walking on glass too?  Respectfully loving relationships are worth the endeavor.  We all have to try.   You do not quit gardening just because there are weeds to tend.  Time is the intimidating factor, because we  imagine that someone will always be there, and things will be the same.  Things do not stay the same, spend time with your mothers.

Red Flags Going up and Your Defenses are …

All at once you are in the midst of someone whom stresses you out, and they continue on.  What they say and do is overwhelming, how can you regain control?  When your in situations that you feel propel you along and it seems your mind cannot think of a way to change where you think it may be headed, what can you do?

When did the red flags start popping up?  How many excuses did you make that allowed the situation to continue on?  There are times we become victims.  There are times we do not have to become victims.  What can we do when we feel uncomfortable?

Change a situation sooner, excuse yourself.  Do not be in the habit of making excuses for someone that is in the habit of disrespectful behavior.  Mention to them at another time how you felt about the situation and what made you uncomfortable.  Tell them kindly what you would like to see different.

Watching the show Judge Judy you learn there are a lot of people out there surfing through relationships and opportunities where they make themselves at home while exploiting from you.  The victims are so eager for a relationship that when the charmer wants to start bumming the dollars, the money is then extorted.  When the well of affections runs dry, when the money numbers flags go up, then the extorter moves on.  The lonely one then takes them to Judge Judy because they are now on the list of those being made a victim.  Young teenagers should watch Judge Judy so they can see what mistakes to avoid in relationships.  There are men, and there are women that victimize.  Read my previous article:  Whose Movin’ in and Why? on fatfitanfab.com

A friend of mine was approached by someone about dating with the consideration of marriage as the end goal.  She actually did a credit check on him and a background check of sorts.  They have been happily married for years.  He loves to joke about it, but he is delighted he was up to par.

When in a high pressure situation, excuse yourself with the phrase, “I need to call my father, or mother.”  Then call them.  You can tell a person that you do not want to talk right now.  Make a date very soon to talk to them. Keep it safe.  Do not let yourself be bullied into something your not comfortable with.  Just say “NO!”.  Then take your leave.

“Lonely Bar Scene”, we were at a bar, a small group of us were there to listen to some blues with a live band playing.  It was so sad to see all the women coming in dressed so scantily.  They were dolled up and dressed disrespectfully.  If they are looking for love, they will only find a one night broken heart.  Dress the part, think about your attire.  If you want to be respected, dress with respect.  A person can be very attractive dressed decently.  Seeing these young women dancing with a beer bottle in their hand appeared like a disease in modern day society.  Just getting passed around.  I felt so sad for them.  How many of them have been in uncomfortable situations they could not control?  How many keep putting themselves in these situations?  Dressed like that in those situations, what do they expect of these men?  There were older men there, obese men, and plenty of women just like them there.  All looking at their phones, and the loneliness was obvious.  Vulnerabilities obvious, either to become a victim or create one.

Do not let your cell phone checking make you a potential victim.  People are no longer aware of their surroundings.  With checking of the phones, no one sees whose around or what is going on.  Crime is real, look around, be aware.

Do not just go in somewhere just because you are invited.  How long have you known someone?  Do not just invite someone in because you have met them once or twice.   Sometimes, we just have to end the call, try hanging up after saying GOOD BYE.  Being assertive is becoming a practiced skill.  Try it.

Take your time to decide a matter.  Get all the information you can.  Do not be so nice that you blindly enter into a matter.  Nice people are not always smart, but smart people can be nice.   Do not give the benefit of the doubt indiscriminately.  It takes a long time for me to know someone, and it takes a long time for someone to know me.  Take your time, do not be a desperado.

No need to be unduly suspicious, but we need to be cautious.  A scripture I love is ” be cautious as a serpent and as innocent as a dove”.   Do not be a victim, and do not victimize.

Timex, Elgin, Carriage, Hamilton, Movado, has run by …Where has the time gone?..It just goes by.

There was a Time when everyone wore a time piece or took pride in sporting a particular brand of watch on their wrist.  It was a habit of the time-wise to flick the wrist and check the time   How long ago was it that you would see a man pull the watch on the chain out of the pocket so he could address the time.

Chicago sung the famous song “Does anybody know what time it is?”  How lost a person can feel if they do not know what time it is.

The phrases:  Time has just gone by …, Does anybody know what time it is?… Time just marches on… Time just runs by…  A time capsule…Can you arrest time?  The years just flew by… and so on …tick, tick, seconds, minutes, hours, sunrise, sunset, days, weeks, months, seasons, years, and then history in the making.

My Mother-in-Law Marcia is an expert on time.  She is 98, and she has always practiced a schedule and her watch is a big part of it.  Marcia still does her own laundry, changes her bed, daily walks with her dog, reading the paper, and she balances her checkbook.  She said she plans her life around time and according to her watch.  She is very aware of time, and there is this connection between the flick of the wrist, the time and what she expects to be doing next.

Her mind frame is there is a time to get up, a time to eat breakfast, morning activities, time for lunch, afternoon rest and activities, afternoon walk with the dog, time for dinner, and then there is time for evening activities, and then time for bed.  Nothing is happenstance, nor is it haphazard.

Too many function by feelings, do I feel like eating, or I felt like eating something sweet, or I did not feel like going to bed etc.  Too much feeling interferes with natural scheduling.  The old circadian rhythm is rendered dysfunctional.

Not everyone has a watch, many depend on their phone.  Phones do lose their battery strength, then where are you?  When you see someone often looking at their phone you wonder are they checking for messages and only half interested in being there with you.  No one really looks at their phone that often for the time, then again, if they are, just send them on their way, why let them waste your valuable time with their lack of attention.

A watch whether it is $100.00 or $7.00 is an investment because it can keep you time-wise.  I am trying to be more aware of time and work in time blocks as Marcia suggested.  A greater sense of accomplishment, routines are vital for our longevity.

Sometimes we just have to get thru it, other times it just fly’s by.  No matter how you look at it time is ours to manage most productively.  Being aware of time is essential.  A time to be born, a time to die, a time to skip about, as King David poetically wrote about.  Later his son King Solomon said at Ecceclasties  9:9-11 ” Enjoy life with your beloved wife all the days of your futile life, which he has given you under the sun, all the days of your futility, for that is your lot in life and in your hard work at which you toil under the sun.  Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might, for there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the Grave, where you are going.  I have seen something further under the sun, that the swift do not always have the race,nor do the mighty win the battle, nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches, nor do those with knowledge always have success, because Time an Unforeseen Occurrence befall them all.”    Time to Heed the time in our life.

Buffet, A fat trap or not? How to behave like a skinny person at a Buffet.

We went to a Buffet today.  The experience was very nice.  Did I pig out?  Did I try to get my monies worth?  What is Buffet etiquette?

The array of food, vegetables, salad fixens, pickled veggies, potato salad, mashed potatoes, noodles, stuffing, and meats galore, whom wouldn’t want to occasionally enjoy a buffet?.  Why pig out?  I can make healthful delicious selections knowing I will likely have another meal in about four hours.  Knowing this is not my last meal I realize I do not want to make myself sick over it.  Have you ever heard someone say they got sick after going to a buffet, that always causes me to wonder, Did they eat how many plates of food? Did they wash their hands? How fast did they consume all this food?. These are all factors in how we will feel after consuming a meal at a buffet.

I had one plate of food, a dish of coleslaw, and a 1″ x 1″ brownie, and a cup of tea.  This was great.  I just did not feel like cooking.  I believe I more than got my monies worth.  A couple hours later I had an afternoon snack.  I am content.

Although I am not a doctor, nurse or nutritionist, I still like to consider the physiology of a person.  Our esophagus is only so big around and so long.  Our stomach is said to be about the size of our fist.  How much expanding do we expect our stomachs to do?  Do we pack in so much food that the mechanics between the stomach and upper intestines are not able to function correctly.  Does our food sit and stay compacted in our esophagus?  When we eat a high volume of food, and many eat too fast, our digestive fluids roll up into our throat doing damage to both our esophagus and throat?  For years I have had to have my stomach stretched open, and my throat stretched.  It is a painful experience.  Yet, it helps a lot, because my food will just sit in my esophagus, and the digestive juices make me feel so sick.  Sometimes I get very sick.  It is time for me to go get stretched again.  Eating smaller meals and being sure not to stuff myself is important.  Recently I read, and I do not remember where I read it, that more people are getting cirrhosis of the liver, and it is not from alcohol.  When we eat a lot and a variety, our poor liver has to send out a lot to process all that is coming thru our system.  Our livers are getting worked to death.  Poor liver, let’s give it a break.  No wonder the bible talks about overeating and gluttony being a sin.

Buffet, in the dictionary also means to fight or force.  So are we fighting against the way we were designed to function.  Do we force our bodies to the point of long term injury.  Something to consider.  The other matter of getting our monies worth, the cost of a visit to the buffet for a dinner compared to a decent restaurant it may cost about the same and we are being served our salad, entrée, and a dessert we order from a menu.  The menus have the same germs that the serving utensils at the buffet contain because most people do not wash their hands before handling a menu.  After ordering from a menu I go to the bathroom and wash my hands.

Buffet etiquette, by exercising self respect, respect for others and the world hunger situation we would not want to just pile our plates up.  We can go up and get another plate of food.  This prevents wastefulness or forcing ourselves to clean our plate because we piled it up and we are of the clean plate society.  Washing our hands before, and then again after serving ourselves is considerate.  Most important, it is crucial to wash our hands after, there are so many that do not wash their hands.  When you pick up your roll to eat it, it is like a dozen people already picked it up, because their germs are on the serving utensils.  I leave my plate at the table with loved ones and I go wash my hands.  If for some odd reason I cannot leave to go wash up, I will use a lemon across my fingers and hands and dry with my napkin.  With the many flues and other epidemics, and the fungal infections people carry, I really want to wash my hands.

Skinny people are on to something big, being selective, small portions and eating slow.  Let’s not talk about the disgusting skinny people that pig out and never gain a pound.  It all catches up, maybe not in pounds, but digestive issues can plague anyone.  It can turn a person off to a buffet considering all these topics.  I hope all will benefit from considering our physiology.

Many love the convenience of a buffet, just walk in, serve up, and enjoy friends without taking the whole afternoon.      Enjoy the experience safely, and with dignity.